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How often are properties appraised by the Assessor's office?
Under State law, 20% of the properties should be viewed and reassessed each year or at least once every five years. Values can be changed on an annual basis (based upon changing market conditions), however, an inspection and appraisal review should be conducted every fifth year. All new construction is to be valued each year.

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What if I think my property is over assessed?
Come in and talk to the Assessor. We welcome an opportunity to explain the assessment and listen to valid reasons why you feel your property value is too high. Assessment records are public information, and you can also compare your assessment with any other properties you choose. If you still disagree with the assessment, there are formal appeals you may take.

What is a Special Assessment?
A special assessment is an improvement, which directly benefits the property. Common assessments include streets, sidewalks, streetlights, and sewers. The amount is based on how much the property benefits from the improvement and the cost of the project. The property’s market is not used to determine the amount of the special assessment.

How does the Assessor determine the Estimated Market Value?
A mass appraisal process is used for Estimating Market Values. Information from all sales that occur within the county is collected and closely analyzed by the Assessor's Office. The Assessor's Office then adjusts market values by comparing properties that sold within a given area with properties that have not sold within that same area.

Does the Estimated Market Value increase at the same rate on all properties?
No, it does not. There are differences between individual properties and between cities or townships. In one area the sales may indicate a large increase in value and in another area there may be very little or no change in value. Also, different types of property within the same area may show different value changes. There are numerous factors to be considered in each property which will cause value changes to differ. Some of the factors that can affect value are location, condition, size, quality, basement finish, garages and many other factors.

Can the Estimated Market Value change even if the appraiser has not been inside my property?
Yes. The assessor keeps records on the physical characteristics of each property in the county. Even though the assessor may have been unable to go through your property, the Estimated Market Value will be reviewed based on existing records and sales of similar property.

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How is my market value calculated?
Sales of real estate properties are used as a guide in determining the Assessor’s market values. These sales are analyzed to determine which factors contribute to the value. These factors are then put into a model or formula to apply to all properties. The values are then tested to make sure that the quality of the assessment meets statistical requirements.

Does an increase in Estimated Market Value always mean in increase in property tax?
Not necessarily. Many factors go into determining how much property taxes change from year to year. The items include spending habits of local governments, school bonds for either building or operating expenses, changes made by the legislature in the state property tax system, the amount of new construction within the county and a change in property value or classification. A change in any of these can result in tax increases or decreases.

Do I have to allow the Assessor into my home?
Even though Minnesota Statute 273.20 authorizes Assessors to enter dwellings to conduct their appraisals, the same law recognizes a property owner’s right to privacy. If you wish to deny an appraiser access, you must notify him either verbally or in writing. Minnesota Statutes recognize that we then make our best estimate of the property’s market value by having first-hand knowledge of the property’s finish and condition. No appeal board may change a market value without an interior inspection.

What can I do if I think the Estimated Market Value is too high?
You are encouraged to first contact your Assessor’s Office and discuss the assessment with the appraiser for your property. You have the right to appeal the estimated market value. The methods of appeal are detailed on the back page of your estimated market valuation notice, also known as your Valuation and Classification Notice, that is mailed to all property owners in March or April.

What is a Property Identification Number (PIN)?
It is a unique number assigned to each piece of real estate in Dodge County. The PIN, also known as Parcel Number or Parcel Identification Number, is printed on the Property Tax Statement, the Valuation Notice, Proposed Tax Statement, and various other documents related to real estate taxation or assessment.

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How does the Assessor determine the value of my property?
The Assessor visits your property to record the existence and character of improvements that contribute to its market value. The Assessor collects sales information on all types of property, and studies characteristics such as location, size of the parcel, improvements and amenities that affect what buyers would pay for your property. Annual sales studies are used to analyze market conditions to determine how the Assessor's Estimated Market Value compares to actual property sales. Local sales will impact local values. The Minnesota Department of Revenue requires that the median ratio of the Estimated Market Value over the adjusted sales price of all sold properties within each classification and each jurisdiction fall within a range of 90% to 105%.

What will happen to my assessment if I improve my property?
Generally speaking, improvements that would increase the sale price of a property will increase the assessment. The following examples are typical items that may increase the assessed value of your property:

  • added rooms
  • an added garage
  • substantial modernization of the kitchen
  • improvements to the bathroom
  • central air conditioning
  • fireplaces
  • basement or lower level finishing
  • extensive remodeling
  • replacing old siding or windows
  • replacing roof

Normal maintenance, such as periodically painting or replacing worn flooring, will help retain the market value of your property, but generally it will not affect your assessment.

Will the Assessor's Office notify me of my property value?
After the assessment is completed, notices are mailed to the property owners. This notice will state the following:

  • Current Estimated Market Value from January 2nd and the prior assessment year.
  • Classification of the property for the current and prior assessment year.
  • Taxable market value for the current and prior assessment year. Taxable market value may differ from the estimated market value due to special valuation exclusions allowed by law.
  • Information for appealing the estimated market value or classification if you feel an error has been made on your property record.

It is very important that the property owner review this notice. The values and classification stated on the notice will be used to calculate the owner's share of the taxes payable in the following year.

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How will my taxes change as a result of the new assessment?
Taxing jurisdictions, such as the county, schools, cities and townships, adopt budgets after public hearings. This determines the tax levy, which is used to calculate the rate of taxation required to raise the money budgeted. The taxes you pay are proportionate to the value and classification of your property compared to other properties in your taxing district. An increase or reduction in your Estimated Market Value does not directly correlate to an increase or reduction in property tax for the following year. Your market value and classification determine your share of the tax burden with the tax levy determining the actual dollar amount that you will pay.

Why has my value gone up?
The Assessor has not created the value. People make value by their transactions in the market place. Property values are based on market values which fluctuate with general economic conditions such as interest rates, inflation rates, supply and demand and changes in tax laws. By Minnesota state law, as properties values change in the market place, those changes must be reflected in the Assessor's Estimated Market Value.

Why does my market value change if I have made no improvements to my property?
Trends in the real estate market due to local economic conditions, interest rates, and supply and demand influence the value of property. The Assessor’s Office studies the real estate market each year. When properties sell for more each year, the Assessor is required to adjust the values accordingly. Estimated Market Values can also be decreased if the real estate market shows sale prices are going down.

How are your Real Estate taxes determined?
Taxing jurisdictions such as the county, schools, cities, and townships, adopt their levy after public hearings. The levies are certified to the Finance Director who then calculates the tax rates. The taxes you pay are proportionate to your Estimated Market Value and use classification of your property as observed by the Assessor’s Office. Similar properties with their differing amenities and sales prices are used as a comparison with other properties that have not sold, to estimate their value.

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